University alumni launch ‘smart oven’


Photo provided by Tovala

The Tovala Smart Oven launched on Tuesday, allowing for easily accessible meals. Five University alumni are on the team that is producing the oven.

By Wren Wheeling, Staff Writer

A team of 13 people, including five University graduates, have created a smart oven that makes it possible to balance convenience, health and taste perfectly in every meal.

The Tovala Smart Oven, which launched on Tuesday for $369 on the company’s website, can cook Tovala’s pre-prepared meals on it’s own by downloading the instructions from the internet with the quick scan of a barcode. It can bake, steam and broil food in any combination that the recipe calls for.

Customers are able to have pre-prepared meals shipped directly to their doors every week. Two subscription options are available; single serving or double serving. With the single serving subscription, the customer can choose three meals for $36 each week. With the double serving subscription, customers get the same three meals that they chose, but they get two of each for $72 weekly.

Tovala’s menu is made up of 75 different meals, but the available options alternate to provide customers with five meal options to choose from each week. There also is special considerations for those following a vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free diet.

Some of the pre-prepared meals include Sweet Chili Salmon with Chana Masala & Cucumber Raita, Sunflower Satay Tofu Steak with Sesame Ginger Brown Rice & Garlic Green Beans, or Teriyaki Chicken with Fried Rice Pilaf, Roasted Pineapple &
Sesame Coleslaw.

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    It doesn’t just cook the shipped meals that are provided to customers, either. Tovala allows users to program their own settings for self-prepared meals. There is also an app for many pre-set cycles. When your food is done cooking, the app is able to give you a notification.

    The Tovala smart oven is co-founded by David Rabie and the University graduate, Bryan Wilcox. Other University alumni that are on the Tovala team include lead engineer Peter Fiflis, resident computer engineering expert Adam Brakhane, lead data engineer Tyler Mey and content marketing intern Maggie Pluskota, a former Illini Media employee.

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